Where To See Flamingos in Mexico

Are there flamingos in Mexico? You bet! These are our top tips on where to see flamingos in Mexico.

Residents have reported seeing up to 10,000 pink flamingos, all at once in Mexico. You can visit an animal park to watch the pink birds, but it is more thrilling to admire them in the wild, where they roam freely in nature and are in large numbers.

where to see flamingos in mexico
Wondering where to see flamingos in Mexico? Read on!

Where To See Flamingos in Mexico

In Mexico, flamingos live in the mangroves of the Yucatan Peninsula or on the beaches near Cancun. They move between the two locations for feeding and mating purposes each year.

Read on to learn about where to see flamingos in Mexico and the best time to do so. Further, this guide highlights other key tourist attraction features in these regions.

Looking for more things to do in Mexico? Check out our other articles:

Las Coloradas

If you’re wondering where to find flamingos in Mexico, the Las Coloradas Pink Lakes is one of the best locations. Las Coloradas is to the North of the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a thirty-minute drive from Rio Lagartos and is part of the Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve.

The Pink lakes are famously pink in color, which, coupled with the blue sky, gives a photogenic effect perfect for the Gram! The color results from the many pink-colored halobacteria that live in the water. Interestingly, each lake has a different shade of pink depending on the water levels and the salt concentration. Lakes with a lower salt concentration in water have milder shades.

You can spot the pink flamingos from the beach, and the best time to see them is on sunny middays when the sun is at its peak. The high sun reflects the pink micro-organisms in the water. It also reflects the blue sky and the white clouds on the water. The effect is a photographer’s dream!

You should know the Pink Lakes of Las Coloradas are artificial, commercial salt pans, and they are inaccessible from the road since they are owner-protected. You also can’t swim in the lakes since the salty water will dehydrate your skin.

Ria Lagartos

If you are wondering where to see flamingos in Yucatan, look no further than Ria Lagartos, which lies to the West of the Yucatan Peninsula.  Rio Lagartos is a town in the Ria Lagartos Reserve whose mangroves are home to the largest population of flamingos in Mexico. The wetland ecosystem here is part of the UNESCO Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve.

The Rio Lagartos flamingos are present all year round, but their number increases during the mating season. This is between April and October.

Early morning and sunsets are great times to take the boat ride tour. The sunrise and sunset provide a beautiful background to view the flamingos.

Rio Lagartos translates to The alligator river”. As the name suggests, it has a large crocodile population, and it would be best for you to look out for these dangerous creatures. Other than bird watching, you will get a chance to take a mud walk and a mud clay bath, which is a great way to exfoliate and relax.


Celestun lies approximately 60 miles north of Merida and is the capital city of the Yucatan province. It is part of Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve and boasts the presence of a large flock of flamingos adding to its impressive historical architecture.

This makes Celestun the ultimate tourist destination.

The Celestun flamingo’s season is from November to March when the flamingos migrate to mate. For the best experience, take an early morning boat ride which ferries you from the beach to the Celestun Biosphere Reserve. This reserve has a well-maintained area with a wooden walkway from where you can see the Celestun flamingos. Also, you can watch other birds like herons or go fishing. The beautiful mangrove vegetation is also a pleasant sight.

The water levels at Celestun are shallow, and since most boats have a high draft, they cannot get too close to the flamingos to avoid damage. Additionally, some parts of Celestun have crocodiles, so be cautious.

Isla Holbox

Also known as the Mexican Caribbean, Holbox is a 26-mile-long island near Cancun City.

It gives a charming old-school vibe with its off-beaten paths and no cars policy. The only way to get around the island is by walking, riding bikes, or golf carts. Holbox sits atop the Yucatan Peninsula and is part of Yum Balam Nature Reserve.

A 40-minute plane ride from Cancun is the fastest way to get to Holbox. You can also take a car ride up to the Chiquita Port, followed by a short ferry ride to the island.

Tour the Isla Pajaros or the Bird Island via a kayak or small boat to see flamingos up close. The classic tour is exhaustive as it covers all three islands. Evenings are conducive to seeing the flamingos against the sunset background.

Extending the tour into the night will allow you to witness the luminescent plankton in the clear Holbox waters. Planktons emit blue light at night to scare prey, and this is nothing short of magical.

However, avoid this island during the rainy season, which falls between May and October. Heavy rainfall overworks Holbox’s drainage system leaving some areas underwater. This flooding disrupts fishing and tourism.


Progreso is one of the newest locations with flamingos in Mexico. Flamingos were sighted at this location in the summer of 2017 after missing for many years. This return followed the rehabilitation of the mangroves by the Ninth Naval Zone through its Port Oceanographic Research Station.

This migration was because of competition for food with algae-eating fish, which was compounded by the increasing fish population in their original habitat. The flamingos usually move in the direction of the prevailing wind.

Progreso is to the North of Merida. A car ride is the only way to get to Progreso from Merida, and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes. The flamingos are visible a few meters from the Puerto Progreso beach. Be careful because the waters are shark-infested and dangerous for humans.

Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy is an important nesting place for Cancun flamingos and a sanctuary for endangered marine species like the Green turtle. Cancun City is in the South-Eastern part of Mexico, and it is found in the North East of the Yucatan peninsula. From the mainland, it is accessible via a 30-minute boat ride.

Most importantly, you must book your visit in advance. The management usually limits tour activities to 200 visitor slots per day. They also control the number of tour guides. To maximize your experience, visit the Contoy early in the morning.

Your designated guide will take you out on a small boat to some ideal locations where you can see the flamingos. Other activities to indulge in include snorkeling and lobster fishing. Be sure to visit the museum and souvenir shop whose profits go towards preserving nature for our good and the future generations.

Conclusion – Where To See Flamingos in Mexico

Flamingos are simply breathtaking, and a visit to Mexico is not complete without feasting your eyes on these unique birds. Luckily there are many locations where to see flamingos in the country, which can be either on the beaches or in the mangroves, depending on the time you’ll be visiting.

Only make sure to have a local guide and adhere to all the rules because some locations might be dangerous, and you could put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t forget to carry a good camera because you’ll cherish the experience.

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